Are we extraordinary?

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. William Jones
  • 49th Mission Support Group superintendent
Did you watch the Super Bowl a few weeks ago? According to Reuters, 111 million people did, making it the most watched Super Bowl ever. And regardless of whether you liked the outcome or not, it was an entertaining, hard-fought game between two great teams. The players were the best the NFL has to offer and were at the top of their game. When several key players got hurt, others stepped up and made a huge impact in the game.

We have our own "Super Bowl" coming soon as we prepare to host the Air Combat Command Inspector General team on our (air) field next month.

We've held many practices and we continue to sharpen our game and hone our skills, so when the other team arrives -- we'll be ready!

Four years ago, the Indianapolis Colts won Super Bowl XLI. Their head coach at the time was Tony Dungy, a former NFL player with the Pittsburgh Steelers and best-selling author. In his inspirational book, "Quiet Strength," Coach Dungy tells his players, "Extraordinary people do the ordinary things better than anyone else."

I recently shared this thought with several freshman classes at my former high school while I was home on leave in the great state of Georgia -- I think it's a state law that you have to say "great state" before you say Georgia. As the students and I conversed, I asked them what "ordinary" things they do every day and not surprisingly they responded with mundane day-to-day tasks such as take tests, do homework and study.

I drove away from Southeast High School that day wondering what "ordinary" things I do here at Holloman every day and, more importantly, do I do them better than anyone else. Am I extraordinary?

Regardless of your specific Air Force specialty, we all have pretty common -- dare I say "ordinary" -- things that we do every day.

I wonder if we do them better than other bases? For example, every base has a mission. Here at Holloman, one of our primary missions is to provide combat air power in the form of the F-22 Raptor. In order to accomplish this, we must do ordinary things everyday such as follow technical orders to maintain the aircraft, defend the base, ensure the network is operational and provide medical and dental care when needed.

Again, I wonder do we do this better than any other base? Are we extraordinary?

It is sometimes easy to lose motivation and excitement when you do the same thing day after day. One way to combat this loss is to maintain focus on the big picture -- why we do the little things.

Every day we're asked to comply with a myriad of Air Force Instructions. For example, an AFI tells us we can't drive and talk on a cell phone, we must wear the uniform correctly and salute staff cars. We must tuck our shirt in while wearing the physical training uniform and ensure we wear white socks -- not black or grey or, as seen too often, not wear any socks.

We also have AFIs that tell us how fast or slow we can drive on base. The maximum speed on First Street is 30 miles per hour. I sometimes wonder if some drivers think that's the minimum speed.

Again, it's ordinary, sometimes monotonous, things we have to do every day. Do we do them better than anyone else? Are the "Fightin' 49ers" extraordinary?

Next month, the ACC IG team will evaluate how well we accomplish our mission. They will evaluate our ability to generate and regenerate combat air power in an effective and safe manner. They will also evaluate our ability to effectively deploy personnel and cargo to "Base X" as well as secure vital information and effectively command and control the entire process.

For approximately 48 hours, we will be asked to play "our game" at our highest level, on our air field, and show the inspectors we deserve to raise the trophy when the final whistle blows. I challenge you to do the ordinary things better than anyone else!

Are we extraordinary? We'll know for sure on April 29, 2011 -- at the end of "our" Super Bowl.